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Against the word “ Titus,” we have “Titus Oates, the inventor of the Popish plot;” and against “Patience,” “Patience Ward, the fanatical alderman.” The first of these assertions is merely a repetition of what she had said before concerning the Popish plot, “ which had been concocted by his (James's) enemies, with the assistance of Oates, Tong, and their confederates, for the ruin of himself, the queen, and other persons of their unpopular creed." (p. 82.) The reader is already in possession of the unquestioned and unquestionable facts which indisputably prove the falsehood of this assertion. We give the assertion, therefore, as another slight specimen of Miss Strickland's historical veracity! The other footnote embodies all the information regarding Patience Ward to which Miss Strickland condescends. We cannot help thinking that the acquaintance of our readers with “the fanatical alderman” may be somewhat extended with advantage. The following is the event in his life which probably entitled him to the honour of a place in the Jacobite song. “There were other very severe proceedings at this time (1683, with relation to particular persons. Pilkington was sheriff of London the former year; an honest but an indiscreet man, that gave himself great liberties in discourse. He being desired to go along with the mayor and aldermen, to compliment the duke upon his return from Scotland, declined going, and reflected on him as one concerned in the burning of the city. Two aldermen said they heard that, and swore it against him. Sir Patience Ward, the mayor of the former year, seeing him go into that discourse, had diverted him from it, but heard not the words which the others swore to: and he deposed, that to the best of his remembrance he said not those words. Pilkington was cast in £ 100,000 damages, the most excessive that had ever been given. But the matter did not stop there : Ward was indicted for perjury, it being said, that since he swore that the words were not spoken, and that the jury had given a verdict upon the evidence that they were spoken, by consequence he was guilty of perjury. It was said, on the other side, that when two swear one way, and a third swears another way, a jury may believe the two better than the one : but it is not certain from thence that he is perjured : if that were law, no man would be a witness; because, if they of the other side were believed, he should be therefore convicted of perjury. A man's swearing to a negative, that such words were not spoken, did only amount to this, that he did not hear them : and it would be hard to prove, that be who swore so had heard them. But Ward proved by him that took the trial in short hand, as he had done some others with great approbation, that he had said, to the best of his remembrance, these words were not spoken by Pilkington. Upon which Jefferies had said, that his invention was better than his memory; and the attorney-general, in summing up the evidence to the jury, had said, they ought to have no regard to Ward's evidence, since he had only deposed upon his memory. Yet that jury returned Ward guilty of perjury: and it was intended, if he had not gone out of the way, to have set him on the pillory. The truth is, juries became at that time the shame of the nation, as well as a reproach to religion ; for they were packed and prepared to bring in verdicts as they were directed, and not as matters appeared on the evidence."! After this the reader will probably arrive at the conclusion that “ Patience” at any rate had good reason for “ stirring up a commotion.”
We have, moreover, to suggest that the fourth line of this stanza also requires a foot-note
“And mighty Charles keeps them in awe on the shore,” is a manifest allusion to the Rye-house plot, which was discovered just at the time of its publication. This plot was really what Miss Strickland would have her readers believe the Popish plot to have been. It was a device of the husband of the “ fair D'Este to rid himself of the Duke of Monmouth, the natural son of his brother, and one or two other noblemen, who had made them. selves obnoxious by their opposition to his schemes for the introduction of Popery. The agency he employed was that of Shepherd, a wine-merchant, and of Rumsey and Ferguson, two broken soldiers, ostensibly in the pay of Lord Shaftesbury, who at that time was out of England. The principal victim of this foul conspiracy was Lord William Russell, a name and memory dear to the heart of every friend of Protestantism and of British liberty. This nobleman being called to town by the sickness of a relative, in November, 1682, was visited by the Duke of Monmouth on the day of his arrival, when an appointment was made for a meeting the following evening, at Shepherd's counting-house, of whom both noblemen were in the habit of purchasing wines. In those convivial days, the purchase of wine was a matter of the same serious consideration with men of rank that the purchase of a horse or an estate would be in the present day; and they frequently met at the wine-merchants' counting-houses for the purpose of interchanging opinions as to the flavour of the wines produced. Notice of this appointment had been sent to Shepherd. On the arrival of the two noblemen, they found Rumsey and Ferguson in the room along with Shepherd. With two notorious draw-can-sils, of
· Burnet, vol. ii. pp. 358, 359.
bullies about town, these noblemen naturally declined all communication. The Duke of Monmouth immediately withdrew ; Lord Russell remained about ten minutes only, to taste Shepherd's wine, and make his purchase, paying no regard whatever to the conversation of the two disreputable persons in whose company he so unwillingly tarried.
For this he was impeached of high treason in July, 1683, stood his trial (than which à fouler mockery of justice does not pollute the annals of English jurisprudence)? before a packed jury, was convicted, and executed as a traitor in Lincoln's Inn-fields; not at the door of his own house in Bloomsbury-square, as would assuredly have been the case, had the husband of “the fair D'Este" had his will in the matter. But this brutal proposal of James's was too much even for the heartless profligate Charles ! Nay, the king was even disposed to pardon him; but, as he told the French minister, to pardon Lord Russell would be to break finally with the Duke of York.? Whether the « fair D’Este” was devising court masques, or “absorbed in a mother's own sweet cares,” or making herself ill with eating
saumond pie," while this murder was perpetrated by her husband, Miss Strickland does not inform us. Indeed, she never mentions the transaction at all; and Lord Russell only once, to revive the vile calumny that he received bribes from the French court, which was vented by Dalrymple more than a century ago, and indignantly denied and triumphantly refuted immediately on its publication.
These examples will sufficiently exhibit the spirit in which Miss Strickland writes the life of Mary Beatrice, while she remained Duchess of York. We have only further to say concerning our selection of them, that they are taken literally at random from a mass of dishonest omissions, prevarications, and perversions, such as we certainly never met with before in any work that called itself history.
We now proceed to the history of James II., after his accession to the throne; and as we must necessarily appeal to Bishop Burnett, the accredited historian of the times, we feel it due to his memory, as well as to ourselves, to lay before the reader, in the first instance, his own introduction to this part of his history.
“I am now to prosecute this work, and to give the relation of an inglorious and unprosperous reign, that was begun with great advantages : but these were so poorly managed and so ill im. proved, that bad designs were ill laid, and worse conducted ; and all came in conclusion under one of the strangest catastrophes I “ The most crying injustice ever known in England."--Rapin.
2 Wellwood. 3 Sellwood's Introduction to Lady Rachel Russell's Letters.
that is in any history. A great king, with strong armies, and a mighty fleet, a vast treasure, and powerful allies, fell all at once : and his whole strength, like a spider's web, was so irrecoverably broken with a touch, that he was never able to retrieve what, for want both of judgment and heart, he threw up in a day. Such an unexpected revolution deserves to be well opened: I will do it as fully as I can. But, having been beyond sea almost all this reign, many small particulars, that may well deserve to be remembered may have escaped me: yet, as I had good opportunities to be well informed, I. will pass over nothing that seems of any importance to the opening of such great and unusual transactions; I will endeavour to watch over my pen with more than ordinary caution, that I may let no sharpness, from any ill usage I myself met with, any way possess my thoughts, or bias my mind. On the contrary, this sad fate of this unfortunate prince will make me the more tender in not aggravating the errors of his reign. As to my own particular, I will remember how much I was once in his favour, and how highly I was obliged to him: And as I must let his de signs and miscarriages be seen, so I will open things as fully as ! can, that it may appear on whom we ought to lay the chief load of them : which indeed ought to be chiefly charged on bis religion, and on those who had the management of his conscience, his priests, and his Italian queen: which last had hitherto acted a popular part with great artifice and skill, but came now to take of the mask, and to discover herself.” 1
We submit that there is no appearance either of unfairness of dishonesty here. That Burnett was a party writer was a consequence inevitable upon the fact that he lived in the times of which he was the chronicler; and we are therefore quite prepared to fi him betrayed into erroneous statements through the strength of his prepossessions. But at the same time it must not be forgotten that the events he bas recorded subjected the crown of England to a disputed succession, which lasted for more than sixty years: a that the facts disclosed in his book were pre-eminently influenti in retaining the people of England in their allegiance to the Pro testant line of sovereigns. On this account, his “ History of DN own Times” sustained a series of incessant attacks from the pare tizans of the exiled family, during the entire period of the cat, tinuance of the Jacobite rebellions. Some few of them were print at the time; but they were then shown to be untrue by witness who had themselves been present in the transactions recorded, an therefore they excited no attention whatever, and fell, for the most
que was the cell into errone at the
· Burnet, vol. iii. pp. 1, 2.
vate jouiled familles, dropped the wr
part, dead from the press. But by far the greater part were in the form of the private journals of persons who had been attached to the household of the exiled family: and these, after edifying a generation or two of staunch Jacobites, dropped in quiet neglect into the manuscript-chests of the families of which the writers had been members; where they still remain to furnish a precious morsel of “ exclusive information ” to historical legendaries such as Dr. Lingard, Sir Patrick Fraser Tytler, and Miss Strickland. They were not published at the time they were written, because their falsehood would have been instantly exposed ; and they would have shared the fate of those of their kindred productions that ventured upon so bold a measure. Dalrymple’s Memoirs, to which we have just alluded, was one of these ; though the author of them professed himself a Protestant, and spoke of the revolution of 1688 “ as a work of absolute necessity," like Miss Strickland; yet he attracted very little notice at the time of his publication (1748), and his work had no success, and was well nigh forgotten, until the re-appearance of a race of Jacobite historians in the present day.
Among these forgotten literary attempts to serve the cause of James and his family, we are almost surprised to find so little notice taken of the once renowned Bishop Parker, or, as he was more generally styled in the phraseology of the day, Bully Parker. This personage began his career with a high profession of evangelical piety and strict independency. He was one of Dr. Owen's precious gruellers (as the more religious of the students were termed) at Oxford, at the period of the Restoration (1660). But immediately upon that event, he saw which way the tide of patronage was likely to run, was among the first to ask episcopal ordination at the hands of the newly-consecrated bishops, and for many years supported bimself in a profligate course of life in London as a pamphleteer. His brochures were either high church and king, or the independence of the church upon the king, according as the court noticed or neglected him: but in either case, they were full of lampoons upon his former religious friends and associates. He always affected to be witty in his writings, but with no very marked success. As he wrote upon the points which then interested the public, he had readers and antagonists, and attained to such a measure of success, that at length he presented the public with a bulky octavo volume, which he entitled “Defence of the Ecclesiastical Polity.” This bold measure, however, brought his literary career to a sudden conclusion. It drew forth a reply from one of the wittiest men of that or any age, Andrew Marvell. “ Mr. Bayes on the Divine in Mode," was so admirably adapted to 1846.